Many today who have no reason to rejoice are preparing to do so. They are excited about the promise of a new year, but outside of Jesus Christ, the new year holds little hope. One thing all humanity can expect while in this fallen world is evil. We can expect it today, and it will be there tomorrow. That’s not much to look forward to in the new year, is it? In that awareness, Jesus instructs us to “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Mat 6:34)
In this world, we can expect pain, crisis, and death in the new year. Why? Because “the wages of sin is death”! (Rom 6:23) Even to believers, the Lord promises that in “the world ye shall have tribulation”. (Joh 16:33) That may seem like a pretty bleak outlook on life, but it is simply reality in a world held captive by sin. Would you rather have the hollow hope that a man-made New Year’s resolution brings, or do you want something more substantial today, something more certain? Both of the previously quoted verses provide true reasons for rejoicing today and forever! Yes, the wages of sin is death, BUT “the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”! Yes, Jesus says that in the world ye will have tribulation, BUT “be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”!
When the disciples came back excited about their earthly accomplishments in casting out devils, the Lord corrected their reason for rejoicing. “Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” (Luk 17:20) Outside of Christ today, there is no reason for celebration. But in Christ…well, that’s a different story! May our reason for rejoicing this day not be the awareness of a “new year” but rather the awareness of our “new birth”!
Love in Christ,